In the world of computer information management there are two primary forms of databases: flat file and client/server. Flat file databases are those like dBase, FoxPro, Access, Paradox, Clipper, Lotus, and Excel. dBase was the first relational database system and all other flat file databases still have its basic functionality and purpose. Flat file databases provide a basic and simple means for storage and access of data.

Client/server databases are advanced storage and access of data. It is used where huge amounts of data are accessed simultaneously by a large number of users. Examples of client/server databases are Interbase, Oracle, SQL Server, Sybase, Informix, and DB2. Borland Interbase is the native database system for Fleet Dynamics C/S 32.

Client/server is based on a physical separation between the data storage and the user. The computer that stores the data is a network server that provides data storage in a central location while allowing multiple networked computers, and thus multiple users, to access this stored data. The data that is stored on the network server is termed the database server. A single networked computer, or a workstation, is where the user types and enters the data and is termed the database client. The database server and the database client create an inseparable pair called the client/server database system.

The database server provides the central location and storage of the data. This allows many users, or clients, to access this common pool of information. A robust database server, like Interbase, will also provide server based programs and functionality. These server side programs can act directly on the data without sending information across the network to the client. This allows calculation intensive procedures to occur only on the server. Most network servers are much more powerful and efficient then the clients within the network. Therefore, this speed and power can be exploited directly without increasing the network traffic or relying on a slower client to perform the task.

The database client is a program that runs on a computer workstation, otherwise known as simply the client. The client provides a user interface and access to the networked database server and its corresponding data. In other words, the client is the program, and its associated computer, where the user enters and accesses the data. This allows the slower, less intense, calculations to be performed on the slower client computers within the network.

In summary, a client/server database system provides the maximum speed and multiple user access to the central and common data. The Fleet Dynamics System fully embraces the client/server concept. It can access any robust database server, such as Interbase, while exploiting its server side programs and procedures. This greatly increases the efficiency of the server and network. The Fleet Dynamics program is the database client that provides a quick and user-friendly interface to the Fleet Dynamics database server. Fleet Dynamics is a thin client, this means that the client program is extremely small and fully implements server side programs. The Fleet Dynamics thin client also allows for instant access to the database server through a wide area network (WAN). This WAN may even be the internet or the world wide web (WWW).



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